Job Hunting in a Different City

It can be tough to find a job. But when you are trying to find one in a completely different city from where you live, that is particularly challenging. So what are the strategies to finding a job in a new city, even before you get there? We spoke with Frank Siano of Vault for some insights.

Step one: Research! Research! Research! Find out what companies have openings in your career field, find out who is hiring, and find out about their reputations. Vault is a great place to start. Research companies to learn more about the company culture, the quality of life, and interview tips and questions. You can also use Vault to research locations and cost of living. Other sites to visit for additional research include Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and UMUC’s CareerQuest.

Keep in mind that UMUC has alumni all over the world. You can reach out to one of UMUC’s mentors for a “speed mentoring” session, which is similar to a 30-minute informational interview. Usually, informational interviews are about someone’s profession or about the company where they work, but you can also reach out to mentors to find out more about the city where you plan to move. They can tell you a little bit more about cost of living, how competitive the job market is, and possibly be able to introduce you to some of their network to help you with your professional goals.

Step two: Identify career opportunities. Visit the online job board in UMUC’s CareerQuest for positions located throughout the country. Other job posting sites include:, USAjobs (for federal opportunities), state government job boards, and (for nonprofit jobs). Perhaps one of the best strategies to find opportunities is networking. Again, use the mentors that you connect with through UMUC’s CareerQuest and network with even more UMUC alumni through the UMUC Alumni LinkedIn group. Make sure your profile is current and up-to-date on both of these platforms.

Step three: Apply. Do not forget all the terrific resume and interviewing tools housed in CareerQuest. If you have never created a resume before, start with CareerQuest’s resume builder. Use Resunate to tailor your resume to each job you are applying to, and then use VMock for the final polish.

Before you interview, you will want to try Quinncia to practice your interview skills. Upload a PDF of your resume and the tool will ask you questions based on your specific resume, and will give you feedback on the content of your answers, facial expressions, body language, and tone. Make sure you utilize these tools so your application and interviews are as strong as possible.

Step four: Pay it forward. Once you move to your new city and get your new job, know that there are other folks in the same boat as you. So make yourself available as a mentor, get involved with the UMUC Alumni LinkedIn group, and most importantly, post open positions from your current and previous employers on CareerQuest—it is a great way to share opportunities with your community and a great way to find talent!

While it can be tough to find a position in another city or state, the nature of work is changing and employers realize that their top candidates might not be local. By targeting the right positions and putting in the extra effort to network and prepare, you’ll be packing your bags and settling into your new job in no time!

UMUC’s Office of Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Contact Career Services at 240-684-2720 or, or visit CareerQuest.

Francine Blume is the Assistant Vice President for Career Services at UMUC. She is passionate about connecting the UMUC community to their dream jobs.

I’ve Got My Diploma Now What?

Congratulations on your well-deserved success! As a recent college graduate, you have good reason to be excited and optimistic about your future, and many of you may be launching your job search and may need advice on landing a job. Consider the following strategies to help you be successful in your job search.

Understand what employers want
When you begin to apply for jobs, it is important to first understand what it is employers are looking for. For example, employers tend to seek candidates who are self-directed, which means they know what they want and they are willing to go after it. Candidates who are self-motivated and can problem solve and think on their feet are valued. In addition, candidates who have both a solid reputation and display trustworthy character are candidates employers seek to potentially enhance an organization’s brand. In fact, the top 6 most in-demand soft skills for 2017 are communication skills, analytical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, initiative and drive, ability to adapt to change, and personal accountability.  

Don’t limit your search strategies
Using only one job search method can prolong your job search by months at a time. For example, do not only use one job finding website to search for job postings. Instead, find a variety of job posting websites to check regularly and sign up for alerts for roles that satisfy a specific criteria. Also, always be on the lookout for networking opportunities. You never know when you might meet someone valuable to your career. In fact, in a MonsterCollege survey, 78 percent of college job-seeker respondents said networking was a factor in their job search. Using more than one job search method such as networking and responding to job announcements online may increase the likelihood of your job-seeking efforts being successful.

Follow four essential steps when searching for a job
The job search process involves four essential steps:

  1. Self-assessment – Explore and discover your strengths, skills, values, uniqueness, and where you might potentially fit in an organization. Before you can begin your job search, you must understand who you are and effectively communicate that in your resume and cover letters.
  2. Knowledge of employment options – Determine the kind of work you want to do, your preferred work setting, your long-term career goals, your ideal occupational titles, and the types of companies that employ workers in your career field. This step will help you narrow your search and provide direction when seeking opportunities.
  3. Multiple job hunting methods – Savvy jobseekers use a variety of methods to contact prospective employers, rather than limiting themselves to one method. Effective job search strategies like networking, recruitment events, job fairs, job search web sites, state employment offices, volunteering, internships, and temporary agencies can increase your chances of landing a job. Studies show fewer than 5 percent of openings are filled by employment agencies, only 15 percent of available jobs are filled by “job ads,” and 80 percent are filled through recommendations of friends already employed by the organization.
  4. Job search tools – Online job tools can be essential in helping you find your next opportunity. For example, online tools can assist with tailoring resumes and cover letters targeted to a specific employment goal, job opportunity, or company. By developing a custom resume or cover letter for specific jobs, you demonstrate to employers that you have a clear understanding of what you want to do and you effectively relate your skills to those required for the job. There are also online career tools that can help jobseekers prepare for an interview. Interview preparation tools such as InterviewStream and Quinncia prepare jobseekers by tailoring interview questions to the skills and experience included on their resume, and they record user’s responses to be played back and reviewed. These online interview tools help job applicants more clearly articulate their qualifications as well as identify any interview strengths or weaknesses through video.

Breaking into the workforce takes focus, determination, and a great deal of patience. As you look for jobs and navigate the hiring process, remember to stay positive. Keep in mind that UMUC Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Click here to set up an appointment with a UMUC Career Advising Specialist.

Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision.

Job Searching Over 50

Job searching typically isn’t easy, regardless of how old you are. However, older Job applicants sometimes have to overcome barriers they did not face when they were younger. This may prolong the job search and might make it more difficult to get hired. However, there are strategies that older job applicants can implement to help find gainful, meaningful employment.

Understand the employer’s concerns.
If an employer is worried about a mature job applicant, they may be concerned that the job seeker will expect higher salary and benefits, be less flexible, be less likely to accept change, have less energy and focus, and may not know the latest knowledge and techniques in their field. These concerns are important to know when starting a job search so you can thoughtfully consider how to respond to questions surrounding these topics.

Avoid common resume mistakes.
Job applicants should avoid getting pre-screened out of interview opportunities. One way to do this is to age-proof and edit your resume. Limit your resume to two pages, and restrict your work history to the past 10 years. This way, it is more difficult for an employer to estimate your exact age, and you don’t seem overqualified.

Establish an online presence.
If you are lacking a digital presence, you may be missing out on one of the most effective ways to tap into your network and find job opportunities. Consider creating a LinkedIn profile as a means to expand your network, apply for jobs, and follow companies you want to work for.

Bring your “A” game to the interview.
Do your research and come prepared. Start a discussion about the latest trends and happenings in your industry. Mention publications, websites, blogs that you follow to stay on top of developments. And last, but not least, sharpen your interviewing skills when it is convenient for you; practice when you can using video interviewing technology such as InterviewStream and Quinncia. After using these tools, share your recorded interviews with others to gather feedback and insight into your interview responses and tendencies.

Job searching can be tough at any age, but when you are in a competitive field with many applicants, experienced applicants may need to be more tactful about catching the attention of recruiters. By following these strategies, you may increase your chances of landing an interview and a new role.

UMUC’s Office of Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Contact Career Services at 240-684-2720 or, or visit CareerQuest.

Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision


In case you missed it: Career Week Wrap-Up

Last week, UMUC’s Career Services team hosted a series of webinars to help students and alumni prepare for different stages of their career progression. Continue reading for a description of the webinars and to find links to the presentation recordings!

Hot Career Tools for Your Job Search
Do you know about the exclusive career tools housed in CareerQuest? With a number of resume and interview tools, CareerQuest is here to help with your job search. In this webinar, Program Management Specialist Rena Joseph provided an overview of these tools and more. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Writing a Results-Driven Resume
When applying to jobs, it is important to have a resume that represents you well. In this webinar, Career Advising Specialist Cathy Francois explored writing techniques to help showcase your unique experience and accomplishments to grab the attention of recruiters. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Hello! My name is…: A Survival Guide to In-Person Networking
Technology can be a valuable tool for expanding your network and for your professional development, but attending events and meeting people face-to-face can be crucial too. In this webinar, Assistant Director of InternPLUS Kristin Schrader shared some recommendations for places to meet new people and how to “break the ice.” Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

I’m Getting My Diploma, Now What?
After earning your diploma, it might be difficult to know where to begin looking for a job. In this webinar, Career Advising Specialist Rhoda Smackum addressed the best practices for a job search and introduced the four steps to launching a successful job search. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Job Searching Over 50
Age is something you cannot control, but learning how to maximize your experience can help you successfully find your next opportunity. Learn valuable job search tips and strategies job seekers over 50 may use to improve their chances of getting hired. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Build Your Network with Social Media
Social media provides a lot of opportunity for expanding your professional network. In this webinar, attendees explored how to maximize platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to further build and engage their network. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Up Your Interviewing Game
In this webinar, Career Advising Specialist Ann Martin covered tips and strategies for effective interview preparation, making a first impression, dealing with the most common (and trickiest) questions, and keeping your cool. “Up” your game and score the job you desire. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Dare to Do Something New: Preparing for a Career Change
Ready for a career change? This webinar focused on four key steps to help you be successful with your career transition. Topics covered include tips for drafting your reason for why you’re switching careers, ideas for gaining experience in your target field, suggestions for updating your resume, and advice for expanding your network. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

Job Hunting in a Different City
There are many reasons people relocate to new cities. With a move to a new city often comes the need for a job search. In this presentation provided by Vault, learn about overcoming the challenges of a remote job search and procuring a job in a different location than the one you currently reside in. Listen to a recording of this presentation here.

You can contact UMUC’s Office of Career Services at 240-684-2720 or, or visit CareerQuest.

Rachel Shannon is the communications specialist for the Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations at University of Maryland University College. She manages the UMUC alumni website, and generates content for UMUC’s alumni social media channels to keep the University’s 200,000+ alumni community connected and engaged.

Dare to Do Something New: Preparing for a Career Change

How many jobs do you think the average person has in his/her first 25 years of working? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the answer is 10 to 12 jobs, and this number is expected to grow even more for the millennial generation (those born around 1980 through 2000).  Based on this expectation, it is anticipated that many in today’s economy will face a career change at some point in their working lives.  Continue Reading

“Hello! My Name is…”—A Survival Guide to In-Person Networking

Did you know 85 percent of people feel they build stronger, more meaningful relationships during in-person meetings and conferences? Or that 95 percent of professionals say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships? In today’s technology-driven world, these statistics may seem a bit outdated, but they are based on recent studies that illustrate the importance of in-person networking to one’s professional development.Continue Reading